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FACULTY SPOTLIGHT

Matthew Fraleigh

Matthew Fraleigh is the director of graduate studies for the MACH program. A professor of East Asian literature and culture, he states, "My research focuses on Chinese poetry and prose forms as read, written, and circulated in Japan and other East Asian sites. I am interested in the migration of texts, literary forms, and cultural products across boundaries, as well as the processes by which such forms became domesticated and localized over time." He is affiliated with the Department of German, Russian and Asian Languages and Literature, as well as the interdepartmental programs in Comparative Literature and Culture, East Asian Studies, and Film, Television and Interactive Media.

Faculty & Research

The MACH program faculty comprises Brandeis professors from across the humanities spectrum. The diverse faculty is one of the program’s greatest assets and we encourage you to learn more about the people who will serve as your guides throughout your graduate career in the Faculty Guide.

Jerónimo Arellano
Assistant Professor of Latin American Literature and Culture
Departments/Programs: Comparative Literature and Culture; English; Latin American and Latino Studies; Romance Studies

"Most of my work focuses on twentieth- and twenty-first-century Latin American literary history. I am particularly interested in exploring aspects of narratives and artworks that transcend meaning and representation; for instance, the materiality of printed books and other media, and the emotional effects of art objects."

John Burt
Paul Prosswimmer Professor of American Literature
Departments/Programs: English, Division of Humanities Chair

American literature and politics, American and British Romanticism, Poetry and poetics, Rhetoric and Composition, Literature of the American South

Mary Baine Campbell
Professor of English
Departments/Programs: Comparative Literature and Culture; English; Medieval and Renaissance Studies; Women's and Gender Studies

Mary Baine Campbell teaches and writes on late medieval and early modern literature and cultural history, including history of science, travel writing, utopia and dreams; she is also a poet.

Stephen Dowden
Professor of German Language and Literature
Departments/Programs: Comparative Literature and Culture; European Cultural Studies; German, Russian and Asian Languages and Literature

"My teaching and scholarly interests focus on German and European modernism. Within German literature, I have written mostly about twentieth-century novelists, but more generally on German literature from Goethe to the present."

William Flesch
Professor of English
Departments/Programs: Comparative Literature and Culture; English; Medieval and Renaissance Studies; Philosophy

"I'm interested in the similar rhythms of literary experience, at every level from rhymes to cuts in film to narrative architectonics; and in philosophical approaches to literature and literary approaches to philosophy."

Dian Fox
Professor of Hispanic Studies and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Departments/Programs: Medieval and Renaissance Studies; Romance Studies; Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Early modern Spanish drama; poetry; prose; women's and gender studies. Professor Fox teaches Medieval and Early Modern Spanish literature. She is currently working on violence, masculinity, and nationalism in seventeenth-century drama.

Matthew Fraleigh
Assistant Professor of East Asian Literature and Culture
Departments/Programs: Comparative Literature and Culture; East Asian Studies; Film, Television and Interactive Media; German, Russian and Asian Languages and Literature

"My research focuses on Chinese poetry and prose forms as read, written, and circulated in Japan and other East Asian sites. I am interested in the migration of texts, literary forms, and cultural products across boundaries, as well as the processes by which such forms became domesticated and localized over time."

Xing Hang
Assistant Professor of History
Departments/Programs: History

"I am interested in transnational interactions, such as seventeenth-century maritime East Asian trade and Chinese immigration and state-building, and comparative perspectives, such China and Europe on the eve of the Industrial Revolution."

Caren Irr
Professor of English
Departments/Programs: English; Environmental Studies; Film, Television and Interactive Media; History of Ideas

"My specialty is contemporary fiction—especially but not exclusively the American novel. I've written on variations of the political novel (socialist, feminist, global) and am currently researching eco-fiction. I'm also interested in social and political theory, film, and maps."

Patricia A. Johnston
Professor of Classical Studies
Departments/Programs: Classical Studies; English; Religious Studies

Latin and Greek languages and literatures; Latin: Vergil; Catullus, Ovid, Lucretius, Juvenal, Martial, medieval Latin; Greek: Sophocles; pre-Socratic philosophers; Aeschylus; Euripides; Other: classical mythology, ancient religion, ancient mystery cults, didactic poetry.

Reuven Kimelman
Professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies
Departments/Programs: Near Eastern and Judaic Studies

The integration of literary and historical disciplines in the study of classical Hebrew and Greek texts from Homer to the Bible and from the Platonic Dialogues to the Talmud.

Andrew Koh
Assistant Professor of Classical Studies
Florence Levy Kay Fellow in Classical Art, Archeology, and Chemistry
Co-Director of Graduate Studies for the MA Program in Ancient Greek and Roman Studies
Departments/Programs: Anthropology; Chemistry; Classical Studies

"As a classical archaeologist, I am interested in the interactions between the humanities and sciences. In addition to the culture and history of ancient Greece, I am drawn to concepts of cross-cultural contacts and cultural hybridity (e.g. the Silk Road). My current work focuses on ancient commodities and pharmacology, cultural heritage, and the ethnoarchaeology of Crete."

Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow
Professor and Chair of Classical Studies
Co-Director of Graduate Studies for the MA Program in Ancient Greek and Roman Studies
Departments/Programs: Anthropology; Classical Studies; Fine Arts; Italian Studies; Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

"My main research interests include Roman daily life, Latin language and literature, Roman technology and engineering, Pompeian art and archaeology, women, gender, and sexuality in the Greek and Roman world, classical mythology in art and text, and a wide variety of specialized topics."

Robin Feuer Miller
Edytha Macy Gross Professor of Humanities
Professor of Russian and Comparative Literature
Departments/Programs: Comparative Literature and Culture; English; European Cultural Studies; German, Russian and Asian Languages and Literature

"I am primarily interested in prose literature of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. My main scholarly work has centered on Dostoevsky, Dickens, Tolstoy and Chekhov. I explore problems of narrative voice with a comparative focus, and I do not shy away from addressing old-fashioned 'big questions,' especially since the writers on whom I work are so deeply engaged with them."

John Plotz
Professor of English
Departments/Programs: English

"I specialize in the novel and the short story, especially in nineteenth-century Britain. My other research interests include the meeting-point between literary and political theory, the history of science, Irish literature, twentieth-century American writers (especially Willa Cather), and narrative film from its earliest years."

David Powelstock
Associate Professor of Russian and Comparative Literature
Director of Graduate Studies for MACH
Departments/Programs: Comparative Literature and Culture; European Cultural Studies; Film, Television and Interactive Media; German, Russian and Asian Languages and Literature; History of Ideas

"My interests are centered around Slavic and East European cultures, Russian and Czech literatures in particular, but reach outward into comparative literature, cultural theory, intellectual history, philosophy of mind, and phenomenology. My current work focuses on consciousness and selfhood as dimensions of poetic expression, particularly as these pertain to language."

Michael Randall
Professor of French and Comparative Literature
Departments/Programs: Comparative Literature and Culture; European Cultural Studies; Medieval and Renaissance Studies; Romance Studies

Specializes in French medieval and early-modern literature and intellectual history. Offers classes on interplay of literature with history, philosophy, and politics.

Fernando Rosenberg
Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies and Comparative Literature
Departments/Programs: Comparative Literature and Culture; International and Global Studies; Latin American and Latino Studies; Romance Studies

Professor Rosenberg teaches Latin American literature and culture of the nineteenth and twentieth century, with an emphasis on the history of ideas. Research interests include critical and post-colonial theory, modernism and modernity, art and performance, and legal topics in the arts.

Rajesh Sampath
Associate Professor in the Philosophy of Justice, Rights and Social Change
Associate Director of the Master's Program in Sustainable International Development
Departments/Programs: Heller School for Social Policy and Management; South Asian Studies

"My comparative humanistic interests include twentieth century Anglo-American and European moral and political philosophy and applied ethics, theories of modernization and social-historical change, epistemology and the sociology of knowledge in comparative religious studies, and comparisons of Western philosophy with traditional African, Indian and Chinese philosophy. Teaching interests include comparative philosophical ethics and theories of justice when applied to sustainable international development."

Ellen Schattschneider
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Departments/Programs: Anthropology; International and Global Studies; Religious Studies; Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Religion; anthropology of the body; commodification; psychoanalytic theory; East Asia; Japan.

Nancy Scott
Associate Professor of Fine Arts
Departments/Programs: Art History; French and Francophone Studies

"My research in art history is rooted in European and American modernism, and specifically in the study of 19th century sculpture. Over time, my sculpture research has moved toward projects on the study of monuments, memorials and the far-ranging manifestations of public art today. I have written on the influence of J. M. W. Turner in America, and his painting The Slave Ship, on view at the inaugural Met Museum in New York in 1872. I am particularly engaged by social justice themes expressed in art. My work on Turner also involves the early history of the museum movement (and the auction market) in the U. S. Therefore I teach an interdisciplinary course Economics and the Arts. I am currently working on a Critical Lives biography of Georgia O'Keeffe."

David Sherman
Associate Professor of English
Departments/Programs: English; Health: Science, Society, and Policy

"I work on twentieth-century British literature, with a focus on modernism and its legacies. My current research projects address the aesthetics of ethical obligation, secularization, and contemporary social functions of poetry."

Harleen Singh
Associate Professor of Literature and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Departments/Programs: Comparative Literature and Culture; German, Russian, Asian Languages and Literatures; International and Global Studies; South Asian Studies; Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Professor Singh's interests lie in colonial and postcolonial theory and literature, Indian film and music, women’s literature and history, and narratives of the South Asian diaspora.

Ilana Szobel
Assistant Professor on the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun Chair in Hebrew Literature
Departments/Programs: Near Eastern and Judaic Studies; Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Professor Szobel is the author of A Poetics of Trauma: The Work of Dahlia Ravikovitch, as well as various articles treating Hebrew literature, gender and trauma studies, psychoanalysis, disability studies, and Israeli film. She is currently working on a second book project, Flesh of My Flesh: Sexual Violence in Hebrew Literature and Israeli Culture, exploring the literary history of sexual assault in Hebrew literature. By introducing students to works of art, film, dance, and music, she aims to expose students to the critical study of Hebrew and Israeli culture.

Jonathan Unglaub
Associate Professor of Fine Arts
Departments/Programs: Fine Arts; Medieval and Renaissance Studies

"I have authored Poussin and the Poetics of Painting: Pictorial Narrative and the Legacy of Tasso (Cambridge University Press, 2006) and several major articles on Poussin. I am completing a monograph on the painter for Phaidon press. A principal theme that informs these studies, and a new reading of Raphael's Vatican Parnassus, is the mutually productive interchange of art and literature in the early modern period. My current research encompasses studies on Caravaggio, Bernini, and Venetian Renaissance pastoral painting, as well as a book project on pictorial transitivity and Marian corporeality in Raphael's Sistine Madonna and other Renaissance images of the Incarnation."

Cheryl Walker
Associate Professor of Classical Studies
Departments/Programs: Classical Studies; English; Italian Studies; Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Greek and Latin literature; Roman and Greek history.

Pu Wang
Helaine and Alvin Allen Chair in Literature
Departments/Programs: Comparative Literature and Culture; East Asian Studies; German, Russian and Asian Languages and Literature

"My scholarly interests include Chinese literature and culture, critical theory, and translation studies. Examining twentieth-century China and the cultural-political problematic of modernity, my work revolves primarily around three themes: capitalism, translation, and revolution."

Aida Wong
Nathan Cummings and Robert B. and Beatrice C. Mayer Chair in Fine Arts and Associate Professor of Fine Arts
Departments/Programs: East Asian Studies; Fine Arts; German, Russian, Asian Languages and Literature

"My primary scholarship focuses on modern visual arts in Asia, especially China and Japan, their interconnections and shared historical conditions. The topics I have been studying include painting, calligraphy, aesthetic theory, and institutional history."